New Research Finds Vitamin C Could Aid Treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

636081520091215764food supplementscrop.jpg

30 Aug 2016 --- New findings have shown that by supplementing an epigenetic cancer drug called decitabine with vitamin C, it enhanced the drug's ability to impede cancer cell growth and trigger cellular self-destruction in cancer cell lines, prompting the start of a dedicated pilot study.

The pilot clinical trial involving adult patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML) at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, will combine a drug called azacitidine, the standard of care therapy, with vitamin C. 

Many cancer patients are deficient in vitamin C; the proposed approach seeks to correct this deficiency rather than overload patients with the vitamin.

"If the pilot trial is successful, we plan to pursue a larger trial to explore this strategy's potential as a straightforward and cost-effective way to improve the existing therapy for AML and MDS," said Peter Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., co-senior author of the PNAS study, chief scientific officer at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) and co-leader of the Van Andel Research Institute-Stand Up To Cancer (VARI-SU2C) Epigenetics Dream Team. 

However, the authors of the study urge patience and caution. Kirsten Grønbæk, M.D., DMSc., chief hematologist and professor at University of Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet and member of the VARI-SU2C Epigenetics Dream Team, told NutritionInsight: “We will only know if the results of this study will impact actual cancer treatment after a large randomized clinical trial that will run from next year if the pilot data comes out positively. Generally 90 percent of aza patients will have responded after 6 months. Thus I would say we would know whether or not this impacts treatment of MDS/AML within the next 2-3 years.”

The proposed strategy reflects a continuing move toward combination therapies, particularly when it comes to epigenetic approaches, which target the mechanisms that control whether genes are switched "on" or "off."

"This type of combination therapy is promising but more work is needed to determine its safety and efficacy," Grønbæk said. "It is truly exciting to consider that there could be a simple and elegant approach to help patients fight MDS and AML. However, as a physician, I strongly urge patients to wait for the results of the clinical trial and to discuss all dietary and supplemental changes with their doctors."

There are hopes that this study could prompt research into how vitamin C could improve treatments for other types of cancer, too. 

“We investigated cell lines from various cancers and observed similar effects,” explained Grønbæk, “However, hypomethylating drugs are only used in clinical trials in solid tumors. It would be relevant to also investigate the effects of vitamin C supplement in these trials. However, only controlled clinical trials can answer that question.”

For now, the clinical study will look at adult patients with MDS or AML. “We are currently running a pilot trial of 20 patients,” said Grønbæk, “If this comes out positively, we will run a large clinical trial with participating hospitals from US and Nordic countries.”
 
by Hannah Gardiner

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Health & Nutrition News

Baobab resurgence? Things are looking up for the “upside down” tree

14 Aug 2018 --- The baobab superfruit has been enjoying an NPD resurgence, boosted by renewed interest in the digestive health and low GI space, as well its strong potential for use in the sports nutrition market. The superfood – which is touted as offering low GI appeal, a high dietary fiber content and for being rich in vitamin C – has seen annual growth of 53 percent, according to Innova Market Insights data. Speaking to NutritionInsight, Henry Johnson, baobab specialist at EcoProducts, details the growing array of applications for the superfood, as well as the economic ripening of the environment for market growth for baobab.

Health & Nutrition News

Microbe colonization study could inspire better probiotics, claim researchers

13 Aug 2018 --- A novel approach to identify the genes that may be important to help microbes live successfully in the human gut has been identified by a study published in PLOS Computational Biology. The approach utilizes a technique called phylogenetic linear modeling, which has often been used in ecology, but rarely in genomics. The researchers hope that the findings could be important for the development of new therapies to maintain or improve gut health, such as the design of better probiotics.

Health & Nutrition News

GOS holds dietary fiber potential: FrieslandCampina eyes new applications

13 Aug 2018 --- FrieslandCampina is targeting the dietary fiber opportunity for its Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS). The move comes in response to the recent FDA green light on specific dietary fibers which presents new market opportunities and application areas. “There is a lot of interest in clean, green and label-friendly ingredients and fiber is one that they are looking for, but in good tasting applications. This really means a lot more flexibility for formulators to offer something that has both prebiotic and fiber benefits,” Sarah Staley of FrieslandCampina tells NutritionInsight on the topic of GOS as a trending prebiotic fiber.

Health & Nutrition News

Weekly roundup: Lycored awarded for campaign, Support for probiotics in countering depression

10 Aug 2018 --- This week, Lycored was awarded for their innovative #rethinkbeautiful campaign and Good in Bloom initiative, while a new study supports the hypothesis that the modification of microbial ecology in human gut by supplementing probiotics may be an alternative strategy to ameliorate or prevent depression.

Health & Nutrition News

Sodium guidelines under scrutiny: Only regions consuming over 5g a day should be targeted, concludes study

10 Aug 2018 --- A new study shows that for the vast majority of communities, sodium consumption is not associated with an increase in health risks except for those whose average consumption exceeds 5g/day (equivalent to 12.5g of salt, or 2.5 teaspoons). Communities with high average levels of sodium intake (above 5g/day) were mostly seen in China, with only about 15% of communities outside China exceeding this level of consumption. 

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/new-research-finds-vitamin-c-could-aid-treatment-for-acute-myeloid-leukemia.html